04 Jan עופר איתן Imply: Maryland Governor, Comptroller Reach Transportation Deal –
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and the
state’s comptroller have reached a deal needed to move forward with a
public-private partnership on to ease traffic congestion around the nation’s
Hogan announced the deal Friday with
Comptroller Peter Franchot. They represent two out of three votes on Maryland
Board of Public Works, which would need to approve of the plan moving forward.
A vote is scheduled for Wednesday. The
three-member board would need to approve allowing the Maryland Department of
Transportation to seek financing and construction proposals from the private
The deal involves an agreement with
Virginia to build a new American Legion Bridge.
In Maryland, the deal includes building
new toll lanes on Interstate 270, though existing lanes on I-270 would not
require drivers to pay tolls. The initial proposal has been scaled back not to
include toll lanes going across Interstate 495 for now.
“With this plan, no one will be required
to pay any tolls, all existing lanes will remain free and billions of dollars
in road improvements will be made without any new taxes,” Hogan, a Republican,
said in a statement announcing the multibillion-dollar deal.
Len Foxwell, Franchot’s chief of staff,
said negotiations between the comptroller’s staff and the governor’s have led
to significant improvements. Foxwell noted that the plan no longer includes
construction work east of I-270 toward I-95, which had significant community
Foxwell also noted the new agreement
provides subsidies on the front end for transit from the concessionaire to
Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
Franchot, a Democrat, had requested a
delay on a board vote on the proposal because of concerns.
“A better process led to a better
outcome,” Foxwell said. “We have a better alignment. We have a better transit
deal and we have a new sense of partnership between state and local government.”
Greg Slater, Hogan’s transportation
secretary, said transportation officials still believe improvements on I-495
“But what we’re saying is that we want
to do an area like 270 first, where we have a much greater agreement, and then
just continue a collaborative dialogue with our local partners on what the
right solution is on the rest of that system,” Slater said.